Beach Management Programme
One of the most amazing features of the Seychelles islands, are the white, untouched, fine sand beaches surrounded by crystal blue clear sea. One of the main reasons for many visitors to come to Seychelles year after year is for these ‘out of this world beaches’.
Seychelles beaches are therefore not only an important ecosystem for the islands but also a valuable resource in the country’s tourism industry and it is vital that they are properly and sustainably managed.
In order to achieve this, the national beach monitoring programme conducts regular beach profiling of selected beaches. This allows for the sustainable management of beaches through the establishment of this long term monitoring system.
Monitoring involves a very simple methodology, developed and used in the Caribbean. It involves taking beach profile measurements at regular intervals, which in seychelles is at least every three months. The data recorded is then entered into a computer and stored in a national beach profile database. This data is then processed by the coastal zone management unit to compare the beach profile of a particular site during the different seasons of the year, so that eventually we can get a clearer picture of the seasonal trends of erosion and accretion of these beaches. Reports are published at least once a year to give an overview of the state of our beaches.
Through the monitoring programme the unit aims to promote a greater sense of stewardship in the community and amongst those directly reliant on beaches as a resource. This is done by directly involving the stakeholders, such as beach front hotels, in the collection of the data from their beaches. The Coastal Unit takes responsibility for training staff within the hotel for taking the measurements, while purchasing the required equipment is the responsibility of the hotel.
Several ENGO’S and other partners such as the SNPA and some schools are also involved in the collection of beach profiling data contributing greatly to the general up keeping of the database.
The main uses of the collected data are:
•to examine how a beach changes over time.
•provide a scientific basis on which adaptation measures can be taken to address the problem of coastal erosion at the local scale:
•to detect the extent of climate change-induced coastal erosion in Seychelles, as it threatens the tourism industry
•to minimize investments made by the private sector and government for coastal protection works by improving the design of beach protection measures and avoiding costly design mistakes.